[BC] Seclusion, restraint not effective on violent kids

Review finds use of ‘calm-down’ room increases likelihood of recurrence

MARCH 29, 2010

A specialized Vancouver facility for 16 of the most disruptive elementary students in the school district has seen a dramatic spike in the use of its seclusion room to control children acting out violently.

Staff placed students in a segregation or “calm-down” room at Alderwood Family Development Centre 64 times in 2008, compared to only eight times the previous year. The increase was so dramatic it prompted a review of the practice.

Children placed at Alderwood generally have a history of acting out violently, may have mental health issues, have witnessed or been the victims of violence, or suffer from conditions such as fetal alcohol syndrome.

The review concluded that seclusion and restraint are not effective interventions, and that they “actually increase the likelihood that it will be used again in the future.” (Restraint refers to physically holding children to prevent them from acting out.) [more]